Using a portable heater is a great way to keep a small area warm during the harsh winter months. The following space heater safety tips will help you keep your family safe and warm if you choose to use a portable heater in your home.
Always read the instructions
Before starting your space heater, always read the instructions completely before you plug it in or light it. As you set it up, make sure you are following all of the safety guidelines. Following the directions can be the difference between staying cozy and warm or losing your home to a house fire.
Make sure there is sufficient clearance
Choose an area that is open and clear of items that may pose a fire hazard. Keep it away from high traffic areas, curtains, furniture, or any place where objects may get knocked into it. A good rule of thumb is to have 18 to 24 inches clearance on each side to ensure that nothing will come in contact with it while it is in operation.
Automatic shut-off feature
If you are buying a new space heater, make sure that it has an automatic shut-off feature. This will turn it off if it is accidentally knocked over or bumped really hard. The automatic shut-off feature can be a lifesaver, especially if you have children or pets. Many companies are making this feature a mandatory option in most of their models.
Never use an extension cord
Never plug a space heater into an extension cord. Always plug your heater directly into an outlet on the wall. Space heaters can easily overload an extension cord, causing it to overheat. The longer the cord remains in place, the greater your risk of having a fire in your home. An extension cord may provide you with a larger space, but it will also spread your risk of a fire over a larger distance, especially if you cover it with a rug or piece of furniture.
Always unplug your space heater when it isn’t being used
When you aren’t using your portable heater, unplug it from the wall outlet. Unplugging it between uses will prevent it from being turned on accidentally. Bumping into it or accidentally knocking it over may turn it on. If you remember to unplug it each time, you won’t have to worry about it being turned on without your knowledge.
Don’t leave the heater unattended
Never leave your space heater unattended. Always make sure that you are within sight of the heater so you can see what is happening near it. Having close visual range will allow you to get to the heater quickly if something goes wrong.
Check your smoke detectors often
It’s recommended that you check the batteries every six months and replace them once a year. Keeping your smoke detectors in good working order is the best way to ensure your family is safe and secure while using a space heater.
When you want to stay warm in the winter, space heaters can be an excellent choice when they are used correctly. Additionally, consider getting homeowners insurance to cover your home and its content in the event of a house fire or other unfortunate incidents. Contact us today at CAV Insurance Agency to get started on your customized coverage.